Activation of affective gambling outcome expectancies: an exploratory study
Gambling outcome expectancies (OE) are expectations about the outcomes of engaging in gambling. Research on gambling OE is in the nascent stage, and has been assessed with self-report measures only. Based on the conceptualization that gambling OE are representations within associative memory networks, which are automatically activated by situational cues, I assessed gambling OE using response time (RT) measures (Fazio et al., 1995). Specifically, automatic activation of negative (positive) gambling OE is inferred when brief exposure to the gambling concept facilitates responding to negative (positive) affect words. I proposed that RT measures of gambling OE would predict unique variance of gambling behaviour and gambling severity above and beyond self-report measures of gambling OE, and that exposure to a gambling video would facilitate the automatic activation of positive and negative gambling OE. The data provided mixed support for these hypotheses. I addressed contributions and limitations of the research and provided directions for future research on automatic activation of gambling OE.